Underage Drinking By The Numbers

by: Mike Miller

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I am a tireless supporter for education on underage drinking.  This is especially true this time of year.  If this looks familiar it is.  I figured you might also like to take a look at some of the current figures regarding underage drinking

Teenagers have this ability to believe they are indestructible and the numbers happen to other people, perhaps those not as careful or as smart as they are. 

Cannot Bury Your Head In The Sand

There can be no denying that underage consumption of alcohol is of concern in our country.  According to a recent study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes for Health the numbers are not getting any better.

The study showed that almost 15% of eighth graders had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.  This is especially frightening given that research has proven that the earlier one starts drinking, the more likely they are to have a drinking problem when they get older.

For 10th graders the figure doubles with almost 3 out of every 10 sophomores admitting to having indulged in alcoholic beverages in the past month.  Slightly more than 40% of all high school seniors have imbibed in the past 30 days.

More Alarming Statistics

If the above statistics are somewhat alarming, there are plenty more where that came from.  Almost 25% of all high school students admit to binge drinking in the past month.

Of this group of drinkers 10% admit to having driven while intoxicated in the past month, and almost one in three of this group admit to having been a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunken driver.

When is it going to stop? The answer of course is probably never. But we must continue to educate teens about the dangers and make sure options are available other than drinking alcohol. There also have to be options for teens who already are drunk – to get them and their passengers home safely.